Several vendors have attempted a Windows App Service for Google before, with indifferent success. Cloud workspace solution provider IndependenceIT, working with Google, has leveraged their automation skills to provide a solution which is much easier to use than previous efforts.
The track record of companies attempting to provide a Windows App Service for the Google Cloud Platform is not an inspiring one. Several have tried and failed, including Microsoft. Now, however, cloud workspace platform provider IndependenceIT has leveraged their app delivery and automation capabilities to offer AppServices for Google Cloud Platform. The company anticipates that this will lead them to larger customers than they were reaching before.
“In 2014, Microsoft launched the Azure RemoteApp server for this, which was, in theory, a great idea,” said Seth Bostock, IndependenceIT’s CEO. ‘There were, however, technical and service limitations.”
“The product wasn’t automated enough to make it easy for people who weren’t highly skilled to use – and those kind of people were the core audience,” said Chip Buck, Independence IT’s CTO. “It drove a lot of support demand at Microsoft. This was something which they didn’t want to do – be supporting other peoples’ apps.” Accordingly, Microsoft terminated Azure RemoteApp in August of this year.
“Citrix sensed the market potential with this, and launched XenApp Express, but they made things more complicated than they needed to be, and it wasn’t successful,” Buck added. “AWS also tried, with AppStream 2.0. It was also too complex and required an SDK.”
“All these companies took the puzzle-piece approach, where you have to jump from panel to panel,” Bostock said. “It’s a fragmented approach. We use our ability to automate to remove a lot of the complexity, simplifying the entire stack with that high degree of automation. We use workflow where automation can’t be done.” The result, he said, provides high-performance cloud-based app delivery capabilities with scaling automation and event scripting. Service delivery partners can offer Windows-based applications and solutions by simply and reliably managing services in the cloud, with complete service and usage visibility for the provider.
“An ISV that is using this who had been using VMware before now uses us in Google to manage 10,000 users, and saves $50,000 a month,” Bostock said.
“Google’s role in the universe of Windows-based cloud computing is new, and they bring massive scale, data centre expertise, and a first-class network backbone and network interconnect product,” Buck said. “That’s their expertise. Ours is Windows application delivery. The app services component is something we introduced generically in our product in the 5.0 release at the end of last year. We have worked with Google on this, recognizing the market need together.”
“This release is completely built to the APIs of the Google platform, and will auto-deploy on it,” Bostock said. It provides an application publishing model through a wizard-driven workflow.
“This is a comprehensive approach to cradle to grave management of what app services are,” Buck said. “It is designed for both Shared Session server and dedicated virtual machines, while AWS is just a VDI approach. It also offers full workload scheduling, and automated cloud resource sizing, which Citrix and AWS do not. Our platform also looks at the actual consumption of resources on a minute-by-minute basis.”
Buck said that AppServices for Google Cloud Platform is particularly well-suited for specific use cases.
“One is to deliver very high volume single apps, where hundreds of users are on a server instance,” he said. “Another is targeted application collections to business users who are using different apps than general company apps. It’s also a good fit for the ISV segment in general, where they have complicated apps with interconnected dependencies.
“We will also tie this to our Cloud Workspace offerings, to be able to target much larger clients than with previous releases of our products,” Buck added.
AppServices for Google Cloud Platform is available now.